Friday, February 11, 2011

Teachers Convention and the TOC

The first of a few convention related posts, I went to a session facilitated by Darryl Smolik, BEd, MEd; website here. It was attended by full time teachers, part time teachers who substitute in their free time, full time substitutes and ran the gamut of recently graduated to retired but substituting. Darryl is an advocate for Teachers on Call (TOC) and for this post I will use TOC when I refer to the teachers like myself who are on call and replace the regular teacher.

We are equals.
Politics aside, some interesting points from the presentation. TOC's are teachers too. We are equals. We have gone to university and work and care just as much as the teacher for whom we are covering. In short we are just as capable at facilitating a lesson plan that the lesson plans don't need to cover every single movement and word to the smallest detail. This leads me to my next point.

We are flexible.
Not just in our timetables for when we teach but what we teach. Everyone has a passion, strength, interest for something unique. If the lesson plan for Social involves reading from the textbook on the Metis. I who have a passion for story, and I want to include more drama in my class ( another session I went to ) I might have students take on parts of history to make it come alive. Does it follow the plan, not exactly but do the student's learn? Yes because they are more engaged than reading the textbook which could be done at home as a follow up.

We need the procedures.
I'll pass on this one as I discussed it in detail in my previous post. But procedures for how the morning runs, attendance, seating plan, ect. should be left for me to read.

Spare time/Prep periods/Supervision.
This may be more controversial, but the idea of having to prepare for an art class or any class that involves paints or any other medium that needs preparation time prior to class but having the prep that the regular teacher uses prepare taken away seems silly. As above, we are equals, and we may be new to the school/class/subject. If you need your prep to prepare, don't give it away and have me in another class then scramble to get the supplies ready for next class. In the morning I like to check in, read my plans, make sure everything is ready to go. I can't do that if I come in and suddenly I have supervision every break of the day. Besides I like to be around my classroom when the students are arriving or leaving. Again on a side note - I don't mind supervising or going to another classroom to teach; especially when I don't have anything to prepare.

Computer Login:
There are times where attendance is done on the computer. Even though I'm really good with technology, the different programs that do attendance drive me nuts and I'm sure others too. I send it all down with any forms/money to the office on a sticky-note. Better for everyone since I don't have to mess something up on the attendance program. (And yes I will collect monies - but not at all schools. Sometimes it is the last day for hot lunch orders or some other activity. I never leave those monies in the class though. But back to the computer login, some schools have a dedicated TOC login and even a TOC photocopy number! It helps as that way we can still use the technology that is there.

Extra Work.
Leave me something for students that finish early to work on. I'm tired of saying read, we are moving on in 5. Be it math games, or a review worksheet. Please leave some sort of challenge for them, same with appropriate websites for those that finish a computer activity early.

Thoughts? What do you want me to do as your TOC? Expectations?

I do have some resources to share - perhaps it's time to make a LiveBinder or a website?

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